Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Niki to Sarajevo

Soon in Sarajevo
The Austrian low cost airline Niki, now owned by Air Berlin, plans to introduce flights to Sarajevo, its Managing Director, Christian Lajsek says. The airline is in the process of evaluating the Bosnian market but also other countries in the Balkans, with Tirana mentioned as a possible addition to its network. Speaking to “ATW Daily News”, Lajsek says its network expansion will take place after Air Berlin enters the One World alliance on March 20. For the past year rumours have been circulating that Air Berlin is considering launching flights from Dusseldorf to Sarajevo.

A new service from Vienna would be warmly welcomed by passengers and would mark the end to Austrian Airlines’ monopoly on the route. When B&H Airlines announced its plans to resume services to Vienna this summer, Austrian was forced to reduce its ticket prices. After news broke last week that the Bosnian national carrier cancelled its planned summer expansion, Austrian inflated its prices. The Austrian national carrier will operate two daily flights between the two cities over the 2012 summer season. Niki’s arrival at Sarajevo would also see the return of a One World alliance airline, following British Airways’ pull out from the Bosnian capital. Currently, nearly all airlines operating to and from Sarajevo are members of Star Alliance.

Air Berlin and Niki are present in the region. The two airlines operate flights to Priština, Skopje and Belgrade and seasonal flights to the Croatian coast as well as Tivat in Montenegro. Lufthansa’s Germanwings is the only low cost airline operating all year round services to Sarajevo. During the summer Norwegian Air Shuttle operates flights from Stockholm and Oslo.


  1. Businesses are designed to make profit. And you excise the maximum profit when you have limited (or no) competition, yet command prices that the 'demand' is willing to pay. There's nothing wrong with that!

    Good on HG for looking at SJJ as a destination, but could they make a daily service viable and profitable in the short- and long-term (given their smallest aircraft has over 110 seats)?

  2. Actually it's not, their smallest aircraft is the Dash-8 which they got from Air Berlin. I do not know what is the configuration like, but it is either 68 or 74 seats which is really good for such flight.

  3. Finaly, some nice looking planes on Sarajevo ;)

  4. Tomorrow begins the first of few steps in implementing the frequent flyer programme of Jat Airways.

    I like it, if you have 5 return flights within 365 days then you get a free economy class ticket OR you can pay €100 and fly business class.

    1. 5 return flights -> free economy roundtrip is nothing new - they had it for years (I used it to come home for Christmas break for ~80CHF while my friends paid at least 350CHF)

  5. the airline is evaluating “new routes to nations like Russia, the Ukraine, the Balkans, Tirana or Sarajevo.”


  6. Hey! Thanks for the heads-up 2nd anonymous!

    I checked their website and their frequent flyer program is retroactive! I'll be eligible for a free flight by the end of March!

  7. Finally some low costs and new airlines to Sarajevo! Great news! :)

  8. It says in the article they are considering Tirana OR Sarajevo, so nothing is sure yet.

    Furthermore, wasn't Malev also a OneWorld member, so up until recently there was a OneWorld carrier @ SJJ and not since BA pulled out?

    If both things are as I think, then present your info better ExYu

  9. The article forgets to mention that Air Berlin is present in SKP as well. Granted, it's only a weekly service, but it's still accurate to note.

  10. Finally an airline interested in the Balkans!

    After the demise of MALEV i wondered who will pick all those passengers that flew with them.
    Somewhere i read that nearly a million of MALEVS
    passengers per year were people from Balkans
    (not only Ex Yu but also Albania,Romania,Bulgaria).

    Also NIKI/Air Berlin will break monopoly of Austrian
    Airlines and Star Alliance on routes to Vienna which mean better prices for passengers.

  11. Great! Finally some competition on the Vienna-Sarajevo route! I only question the description of NIKI as a "low cost" airline. Lets hope Austrian brings down their prices now!!

  12. Hello does anybody knew if B&H will ever fly again?

    When i heard rumours about bankrupcy i asked someone from SJJ airport who said to me it is definitely true!

    They only fear to admit this fact because of political reasons.
    But he couldnt say what reasons!

    Please Ex Yu aviation could you give more details?

  13. Well it's a mess now, but it seems not that bankruptcy is a problem, but FBIH is in a fight with Turkish Airlines..

    Turkish wants more than 50% ownership, but the government won't agree with this..

    Yesterday Airbus 319 TC-JLR flew JA106, but is yet to be seen if and when it will return in the fleet of BH Airlines, because of the dispute with Turkish.

    This is also the main reason that destinations as DUS/VIE/SKP and (for now temporarily, Amsterdam) have been suspended

  14. Why the government of Bosnia dont want to sell
    B&H completely to the Turks ?
    I thought Bosnians and Turks love each otherrs ?

  15. @ Last Anonymous: What does love have to do with business and airlines?!

  16. Actually a lot!....You have to love your business if you want to be successful!

    Nobody want to own B&H because its a waste of time and especially money!

    I really wish Turkish Airlines to get rid of this burden.
    It was really a mistake to let politics mingle into aviation which should be business!

    Biggest problem for the Turk politicians is that when they dump B&H, then their Bosnian brothers
    will stop loving them...

  17. @ Last Anonymous: Ehm... Okay to love your business, but you are mentioning the love between two nations here, not someones love towards someones business. You're speaking nonsense ;)

    And what do Turkish politicians have to do anything with Turkish Airlines buying BHairlines?

    And one more thing, its not the fault of BHairlines nor the BH politics that BHairlines is doing so bad, its the fault of Turkish Airlines because they didn't comply with the privatization arrangements that have been made, and they want to own 100% of BHA. I mean, if they see no profit in BHA, why the hell do they want 100% ownership?

    To sum up, you have no idea what you're talking about. And don't worry, the Bosnian brothers don't love the Turks as much you think they do. ;)

    1. Turkish Airlines is a private company but the State is holding around 49% of the shares(thy.com). B&H Airlines is a state company where Turkish Airlines is holding 49% of the shares. Therefore, do not tell me that the politics has nothing to do here because it does a lot.
      The situation of state owned companies in the region is self-evident if you actually read the news or go through some aviation academic material. Turkish Airlines sees that when majority of the shares are hold by the State, running an airline in commercial terms is not really possible. That's why they either want to leave or own the majority of the shares.

      Once again, great news ex-yu admins, really. I support your punctuality and readiness to give the news in an objective manner.
      But commentators here, not so great.

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